CLAREMONT, Calif. - In Saturday's SCIAC home opener, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team captured their first victories of the season in two nail-biting 1-0 games against Chapman. Junior Hayley Schultz and freshman Kaylilani Minami each shut out Chapman in spectacular pitching performances while sophomore Carlene Roberts was the offense's spark plug.
Game 1: CMS 1, Chapman 0 (8 innings)
In eight innings, Schultz and her defense held the Panthers to only two hits and a runner never got past second base. The infield of senior Megan Latta, sophomores Tara Robinson and Brooklyn Robinson and Katie Savard played confident and flawless defense behind Schultz. Sophomore Shannon O'Neill came off the bench to make two important catches late in the game.
At the plate, the Athenas, led by both Tara and Brooklyn Robinson, were relentless in trying to make things happen. In the first, third and sixth innings they had runners in scoring position but were unable to break the 0-0 tie.
Roberts came up big for CMS with a leadoff pinch hit double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tara Robinson got on board with a single to shallow center field and then Savard walked to load the bases with two outs for freshman Cassie Davis. Poised for a game-winning hit, Davis was instead hit by a pitch and awarded first base, advancing her teammates and winning the game.
Game 2: CMS 1, Chapman 0
After Chapman's loss in the first game, the Panthers threatened early with base runners in each of the first three innings. Again, the Athena defense remained grounded and made all the routine plays, even under pressure.
Minami settled in and did not allow another Chapman baserunner for the rest of the game, striking out four on the day.
The Athenas had chances to score during the game, including a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning by freshman Alexa Heydenberk and Tara Robinson stealing second base in the sixth, but could not get on the board either.
In the bottom of the seventh, Roberts stepped to the plate in a clutch situation again and hammered a line drive past the pitcher but the center fielder was unable to come up with the ball and it rolled all the way to the fence. Roberts rounded the bases and slid into home safely for the Athenas' second walk-off win of the day.
For Chapman, Natalie Both and Cassie Oregel pitched the entirety of the first and second games respectively and collectively struck out seven Athenas.
CMS is now 2-5 overall and 2-2 in SCIAC play. Next weekend the Athenas host Whittier for a double header at 12 pm and 2 pm on March 1.
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